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RE: [Selectors] Attribute Selectors with Empty Values

From: Justin Rogers <justrog@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 09:31:37 -0700
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
CC: www-style <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00BD06E707F60B4F9D6A3E75C712209D53DBCDF1C9@NA-EXMSG-C104.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
I'm probably late to the game on this one but...

That was an interesting decision since as Lachlan notes:
Opera matches all of them, FireFox 3 some of them, and I'll add that IE7 and IE8 (we've made no changes here, waiting for final spec wording) also matches them. The thought when I wrote the original matching logic is that:

^=, $= and *= are a subset of =, and foo="" will match an empty attribute, why wouldn't all of the other selectors match it as well? It simply doesn't make sense.

Shutting it down seemed kind of arbitrary and I really enjoyed the not([foo^=""]) arguments. I never saw any sort of conclusion that the not() syntax was desirable.

Justin Rogers [MSFT]

-----Original Message-----
From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of fantasai
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 8:49 AM
To: Lachlan Hunt
Cc: www-style
Subject: Re: [Selectors] Attribute Selectors with Empty Values

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Hi,
>   I came across this issue while working on the Selectors API test
> suite.  It's not clear from the Selectors spec whether or not these
> selectors should match any elements:
> [class^=""]
> [class$=""]
> [class*=""]
> Given this element:
> <p class="foo">
> It seems that browsers disagree on this issue too.  Opera matches all of
> them, Firefox 3 matches both $= and ^=, but not *=, and WebKit matches
> none.
> This selectors test suite [1] actually requires WebKit's behaviour, but
> I just can't find where this is defined in the spec.
> [1] http://disruptive-innovations.com/zoo/css3tests/selectorTest.html

Hi Lachlan,

The CSSWG discussed this issue awhile back and decided that those
selectors should match nothing. The edits haven't made it into the
spec yet. See


Received on Tuesday, 8 July 2008 16:32:45 GMT

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